HomeAcaNews: What Happened In July?

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July brought us many things: a soul-crushing heat wave, a royal baby, and some a cappella news. Guess which we’re gonna talk about here?

As always, we encourage you to submit news about your group or another a cappella topic to news@casa.org.


While it seems fair to say that many will miss Sara Bareilles from the judges panel on Season 4 of The Sing-Off, it was announced this month that Grammy-nominated artist Jewel will be replacing her.  It was also reported on Twitter that tickets for the live tapings this summer sold out in under an hour. The show will be airing this holiday season, presumably beginning in early December.

The Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB) has officially launched its new quick, single review segment, “Short Cuts.” You can check out these reviews here.

Blue Jupiter is making a splash for the second straight month, with a video contribution to College Humor called “Where in the World is Edward Snowden (Carmen Sandiego Parody)” that you can see here.  On a related matter, the television show which introduced so many to Rockapella, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, will apparently be returning to PBS in reruns according to several reports.

Despite the oppressive heat, VoCALnation 2013 was a rousing success. You can find out plenty of what happened by searching Twitter for the hashtag #VCN2013 and maybe find some videos here.  The next CASA festival, AcappellaFest, will be held in Chicago on October 12, 2013, with headliners Breath of Soul and Dakaboom. The showcase concert will be open to all groups, scholastic and otherwise.

Bobby McFerrin has asked German vocal group SLIXS, formerly known as Stouxingers, to join him on European parts of his upcoming tour

Joanna Jones, from Sing-Off Season 2 contestants The Backbeats, appeared on NBC’s new competition, “The Winner Is…”, hosted by familiar face Nick Lachey. She won her first round competition and though she did not realize it, she had won the second round competition by 11 percentage points. However, she gambled that she had lost and took the prize money instead, sending the Agape Love Ensemble to the episode’s finals. Duwende has not yet appeared but rumor has it they will appear on the August 1 episode of the show (confirmed).

The Boxettes appeared on District MTV HQ talking about their music and beatboxing; you can see the appearance here.

This August, Kevin Fox from the Swingle Singers will be conducting a “unique a cappella experience” called Vocalocity & Friends in Israel featuring 45 jazz and pop vocalists.

The Kettering (OH) National High School A Cappella Festival, scheduled for November 9, 2013, is looking for instructors. The headliniers for the event will be none other than Pentatonix! Fill out an application here if you’re interested.

The Festival of Voices in Australia received a lot of local press and included Americans Deke Sharon (workshops) and Take 6 (performing), among many other talented folks (like beatboxer Tom Thum).

CASA is seeking a Social Media Manager and Treasurer. You can find more information here and here, respectively. Also, CASA’s Tunes to Teens program is now offering a limited number of scholarships to send students to CASA festivals.


Sing-Off Season 2 runners-up Street Corner Symphony has released their album of all original music, “Southern Autumn Nostalgia.” It is available for purchase here.

As we mentioned last month, the Swingle Singers have a PledgeMusic campaign (currently fully funded) for their #swingle50 project, a celebration of the group’s 50th anniversary. Did you know that they have another album called “Weather to Fly,” which will be released much sooner? There is a tentative album release concert scheduled for late September, and we will keep you updated when more information is available.


Sonos has a new name: ARORA! Their new website is here, and their new album (“Bioluminescence”) was just released for purchase and to their Kickstarter sponsors. So far, reviews have been positively...luminous! You can listen and buy here

Take 6 offered a live streaming experience from their concert in Osaka, Japan on July 2. No word on whether it or any other shows from this tour will be available for purchase by download or DVD, but we hope more groups offer this remote viewing option. Also, their sound engineer (and member of The Sing-Off Season 3 competitors Urban Method, Tony Huerta) posted this vlog on the group’s equipment and some tips as well.

Speaking of which, Australia’s male group Suade now has a live concert video (“Suade: Live at Revolt 2013”) available for purchase by download or on DVD, which you can check out here.

Pentatonix joined Todrick Hall for a new kind of video with The Wizard of Ahhhs.

Volta Vocals released 4 new videos this month! Check out their YouTube channel here.

The Executive Board is offering a cash prize for their new remix contest, which you can learn more about here.

The Exchange, recently off their lengthy world tour, is on the road again. First, they have returned already to Hong Kong, and they will then travel to Germany for a number of shows. You can also check out their recently-released amusing video for “Blurred Lines” here.


Apologies to any groups/news we missed, but remember- the best way to ensure we include you is to email us at news@casa.org.

About the writer:
Dave Bernstein is the founder of NYU's all-male group Mass Transit, a former music director of the Potsdam Pointercounts, and (sadly) current member of no a cappella group. After studying music business in college, Dave co-founded Liquid Productions, a small recording studio in Long Island, New York, which produced a handful of collegiate recordings, demos, and commercial projects before going under. Eventually, he went back to law school where he worked for the famed Innocence Project. He currently works as a public defender in New York. In October 2011, he started acatribe.com, a blog devoted to news, analysis, and general love for all things a cappella.  In summer 2012, he joined The Recorded A Cappella Review Board as a reviewer.  He continues to sing in various classical choirs in the New York metropolitan area, and hopes to someday rejoin the active ranks of the post-collegiate a cappella community.